Thursday, February 19, 2015
I Am Woman (1971)
Australia's Helen Reddy was a huge presence on the pop charts in the early 1970s, only to be eclipsed by another Australian singer, Olivia Newton-John, as the decade wore on.
In researching the chart success of these artists, I became distracted by a string of Dutch bands who had North American hits. Not just hits, but songs whose structure, instrumentation and arrangements differed wildly from your standard 12-bar blues-based fare.
The first is George Baker Selection's "Little Green Bag" (1969), a song revived by Quentin Tarantino in his film Reservoir Dogs (1992). The performance below (likely a promotional film put together by the band's record label) is just as hostile.
The second is Tee Set's "Ma Belle Amie" (1969), fronted by the good-natured Peter Tetteroo. Here, the band performs on an Italian variety show (only the vocals are "live") whose dance floor looks like it was painted by Peter Schuyff.
My third and final selection is Mouth and MacNeal's "How Do You Do? (1972), a song that was all over the radio when I was a nine-year-old summering at Camp Elphinstone. If aired today, this performance would have its producers arrested for child abuse.